South Africa's Motor Manufacturing Sector Needs to Change to Save Itself

opinion

Stories behind the latest car sales figures need to be taken with a bakkie full of salt because there's more to it than a post-Covid recovery - we could be in the early stages of a developing crisis for the motor manufacturing industry.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Let's be clear: anybody ascribing current sales growth on a year-on-year basis to their own talent is either catastrophically stupid or - worse - thinks that you are.

Breathless stories telling us that the motor industry saw more than 32% sales growth in March 2021 compared with March last year are all very cute, but considering the fact that all the dealerships were closed and we were not, as you may recall, even allowed out of our houses to walk the dog, let alone buy a car, is probably more relevant than anything local dealers and manufacturers have done in the past few months.

So, please read these stories with a solid bakkie full of salt, ideally, a Toyota Hilux bakkie, because Toyota was pleased to report that they sold just under 4,000 of the things in March this year, which, of course, is a good deal more...

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